It didn’t take the Wake County school board long to make the first changes to the final draft of the 2015-16 student assignment proposal.
Shortly after receiving the draft proposal from staff at Tuesday’s work session, school board member Keith Sutton moved that they drop the proposed reassignment of hundreds of students from Enloe High School to Southeast Raleigh High School. The suggestion soon got the backing of other board members who agreed that they want staff to look for other ways to reduce crowding at Enloe and increase enrollment at Southeast Raleigh.
As noted in a recent article by Sarah Barr, several Southeast Raleigh High magnet parents had attended a community meeting in which they raised concerns about the impact of receiving the Enloe students. According to staff, the proposal would have affected 168 current Enloe students and a number of rising freshmen.
While both are magnet schools, they’re in different places now. Enloe still has strong magnet demand plus a growing base population. But Southeast Raleigh has seen a sharp drop in enrollment and magnet applications.
The staff proposal was to shift students who are about the same distance from both schools from Enloe to Southeast Raleigh.
“What we shouldn’t want is for there to be some unintended consequences that could adversely impact efforts that are ongoing to strengthen and support and improve Southeast Raleigh High School,” said Sutton, who represents the district that includes both Raleigh high schools.
Alternative ideas floated by Sutton for reducing crowding at Enloe include capping the base population and having a ninth-grade center. Under a cap, newcomers to Enloe’s base could be sent to other less crowded schools. The cap wouldn’t affect the magnet population but the district could just accept fewer new applicants.
As for Southeast Raleigh, Deputy Superintendent Cathy Moore said they’re exploring ways to make the school more attractive for families to want to attend.
As for alternatives, the board told staff not to rush because they want to get it right to help both schools.
The change surprised several Southeast Raleigh High parents who had come to speak during the regular board meeting.